In my family, December is about more than just Christmas. The succession of special days in December has been dubbed “anni-birth-mas,” and our traditions have come to be about all of us–Ladybug’s birthday, our wedding anniversary, then Christmas. It’s a jumble, at least for now. We try to give each day its due attention, but we don’t draw too many lines between the celebrations.
As I wrote last year, we have our own take on holiday traditions:
“To be honest, I still trip over the words to Christmas carols I’ve heard a million times but only recently started to sing. I didn’t manage to get Christmas cards out before the holiday (or the new year), and I’m quite sure no one had a Christmas tree like ours. Our Christmas was ‘us,’ and I loved it.”
Our DIY tree is far from most people’s idea of traditional, but it makes me smile every time I see it. It represents our influences from Christianity and Buddhism, as well as our anti-consumerist tendencies. The most important thing to me is that it be fun. It’s also kind of funny, but that is just a bonus.
If you can’t tell from the photo, the Buddha sits in the middle of our “tree” this year–flashing the peace sign. It is part shrine, part art project, part holiday celebration. Completely ours.
Not that I don’t want Ladybug to know what a more traditional holiday looks like. That’s what books are for. We read Celebrate Christmas for context and The Perfect Christmas to emphasize that everyone celebrates differently. Then we read A Christmas Tree for Pyn to talk about family and simplicity. (FWIW, this is one of my favorite picture books this year. Read the review at Waking Brain Cells for more details.)
This is what works for us. I hope your family has found what works for you. Merry holidays!
See more posts about science, religion, and secular family life on my Secular Thursday page.
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